This blog is in celebration of Pastor Appreciation Month.
Duncan Smith has been Director of The Corinthian Plan (TCP) since 2014. Previous to TCP, he served as a conference minister and several pastorates, including transitional interim positions. Duncan’s pastoral experience spans both urban and rural settings. Many years ago he spent two summers working in Yellowstone National Park.
Anabaptist Mennonites do not tend to have a reverential view of the pastor in the congregation. After all, we are in this together, using our gifts to bring God’s grace, peace and justice. This is all true, and as a former pastor, I greatly appreciated the “we” of congregational life.
However, it is not uncommon for a pastor to face stress on their own; to feel the burden of isolation that is common in leadership roles; or to struggle with depression and discouragement, while hiding it beneath a public surface that paints a different picture. Even in our “low” church format, it might be easy to forget the humanness of our pastors.
Pastor appreciation month can feel contrived, but it can also be an invitation to turn our attention toward the individuals that lead our congregations. Pastors serve out of a sense/calling to something bigger than themselves, with a hope/expectation for the gospel to work as leaven in our world.
Take a moment, and thank your pastor and other church staff members in your congregation.
After all, we ask our pastors and staff to help make our congregation a vital place of good news. Besides, expressing appreciation is a good thing for both parties. The giving and receiving of appreciation is often undervalued in our lives.
So, from this former pastor who now works with pastors, conference ministers and church workers through The Corinthian Plan: THANK YOU!! That felt good; try it out loud!
And, if you are a pastor, or know a pastor on The Corinthian Plan, encourage them to take advantage of the wellness incentives, worth up to $300 per individual or $600 per married couple. It is one of the ways the health plan says, “Thank you, we appreciate you and want to support you in living fully. “
The views and opinions expressed in this blog belong to the author and are not intended to represent the views of the MC USA Executive Board or staff.
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The Corinthian Plan provides health care access for pastors and church workers in Mennonite Church USA.